TSM Doublelift announced his pseudo-retirement during his normal streaming time on Tuesday afternoon.
Doublelift has played competitively for every season since League’s inception, starting originally as a support before becoming an AD carry for North America’s Counter Logic Gaming.
In his announcement, Doublelift put heavy emphasis on just taking a break from the competitive scene for the Spring Split. Doublelift cited fatigue and a desire to focus more on his “real life.” He said he had every intention on returning for the Summer Split and challenging whomever replaces him for the roster spot.
In the summer of 2016, Doublelift and TSM had the best single-split performance in the history of the NA LCS. The team meshed cohesively behind the shot-calling duo of Bjergsen and Doublelift, going 17-1 over the regular season and winning the NA LCS Summer Playoffs. TSM went 6-1 in those playoffs, defeating CLG in the semi-finals and Cloud 9 in the grand finals.
Doublelift’s absence from the competitive scene could cause concern for his plans to return in the summer. TSM will be forced to look for an ADC who either isn’t afraid to challenge Doublelift for the spot, or, sign with the knowledge that they’d be rented for just the spring split.
If a player signs under the latter terms, it could negatively effect TSM’s chemistry upon Doublelift’s return. If it’s the former, and Doublelift struggles to recapture his spot, Doublelift will either be relegated to a substitute or, more likely, lose the drive to play competitively and formally retire.
Doublelift is coming off arguably his best two-split year of his career. He started 2016 with allegations that the majority of CLG’s failures were linked to him. He took that all in stride, even admitting that he was at fault, and put heavy focus on improving not only his gameplay, but his attitude, too. Doublelift was able to see improvement in both aspects, as he was objectively the best ADC in North America over the course of the two splits.